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California Now Podcast Available in iTunes

Hosted by Soterios Johnson, new podcast features compelling stories about California

Sacramento, Calif. (May 14, 2018) – Exploring what makes the Golden State one of the world’s top travel destinations, Visit California’s new podcast, California Now, launches today with three episodes available to download on iTunes.

Hosted by Soterios Johnson, an award-winning journalist and former host – of 14 years – of WNYC’s Morning Edition, the California Now Podcast features conversations connecting audiences with some of the state’s most intriguing people and places.

“With this podcast, we’re talking to world-renowned travel experts and California ambassadors who know exactly what sets the Golden State apart,” said Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta. “We’re taking these stories to an audience that can listen on-demand in their car, home, airport, or wherever they want to be entertained and inspired by the California Dream.”

The California Now podcast invites listeners to visit California and uncover parts of the state they may not be familiar with, covering every region and travel niche, from family and outdoor adventure to culinary and luxury.

Season one will feature 12 hourlong episodes, with each episode showcasing three guests. Here’s a preview of the first three podcasts:

Episode 1: Big Sur, Waterfalls, Oakland

Samantha Brown, Samantha Brown’s Places to Love: Big Sur and Monterey

Ann Marie Brown, author of California Waterfalls: California’s Waterfalls

Tanya Holland, Executive Chef of Brown Sugar Kitchen: Oakland’s Food Scene

Episode 2: Bucket Lists, Craft Beer, and the San Andreas Fault

Patricia Schultz, author of 1000 Places to See Before You Die: California Bucket List

Jeff Smith, writer/director of Craft: The California Beer Documentary: Top Breweries

Bob Schneider, Red Jeep Tours: On the San Andreas Fault Line

Episode 3: Atlas Obscura, Packing Tips, and Wine

Dylan Thuras, founder of Atlas Obscura: Offbeat California

Pauline Frommer, Frommer’s: How to Pack for California

Jon Bonne, author of The New California Wine: The New California Wine Scene

Episode four will be released next month.

A first of its kind, the California Now Podcast places Visit California at the forefront of the travel industry – pairing podcasts and travel planning in the destination marketing space. Each episode features show notes that provide easy access to related content on, allowing listeners to take a deeper dive and make their California dream a reality.


Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that inspire travel to California. Travelers spent $132 billion in 2017 in California, directly supporting more than 1.1 million California jobs and $10.6 billion in state and local tax revenue. For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to